1. Tell me in 5 words who is Christoph Baumann?
Curious, dedicated and ambitious entrepreneur
2. What made you join CeMM?
In 2007 CeMM was a bit more than a handful of people with a big vision about being and building one of the best research institutes for translational science. I loved the drive, the immediate will of creating something completely new, and the very hot topic of innate immunity. I enjoyed being a part of this (in that time…) “work hard and party hard” style in a fantastic (net)working atmosphere with never to forget peers, mentors, and retreats.
3. What is it about science that interests you the most?
I love that it keeps me young because every time I understand (or even make myself) a new discovery it broadens my understanding and gives me satisfaction. In the past years, I took the opportunity to dive deep into recent literature about the oncobiome. It is remarkable how new and highly sensitive methods such as 16S RNA sequencing can change our view on infections. I take a lot of excitement from expanding knowledge of the (long-term) consequences of chronic infection for cancer and other diseases.
4. What is the best career advice you ever received, or you can give to the CeMM community?
There were already so many great pieces of advice by other alumni which are all good – so mine would go with “don't eat the yellow snow.” And: don't run away from uncomfortable situations - you grow most when you face them and stand for yourself.
5. Tell us what happened to you after you left CeMM?
I went to a big pharmaceutical company (Boehringer Ingelheim RCV, BI) where I worked as a lab head for pharmacology models for 4 years. Then I was program director contributing to the build up of a new Biotech called Austrianni. After that, I went back to BI to be a project leader for antibody therapeutics in oncology for another 4 years, before I co-founded Evobright, a biotech dedicated to exploiting evolved infection pathways against solid tumors. We are now running for > 2 years and will grow in the next months. If you are curious – visit us, say hello, come by!! www.evobright.com.
And, equally important, at CeMM I have met my spouse, a fantastic wife. We have founded a family, have 2 kids, a garden, planted a tree, …
6. What book do you have on your night table at the moment?
Richard Dawkins – the extended phenotype
7. What is the last song you heard?
Ding Dong from EAV, my daughter loves it and it is the first and last song I hear every day….
8. Any message you would like to give to the CeMMies or a former colleague?
Seize the day – they are passing if you are ambitious or not. My postdoc time at CeMM is now 12 years past. I can't believe it. Keep moving!!
Christoph Baumann is a good-looking Bavarian who studied biology at the LMU in Munich. He did his diploma thesis at the University of California in San Francisco on B cell class switch recombination with Professor Matthias Wabl. In Munich at the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry, he did his PhD on chromosome segregation in mitosis and discovered and functionally described the protein PICH in the lab of Professor Erich Nigg. He then was highly attracted to join the famous Professor Giulio Superti-Furga at CeMM for his postdoc working on innate immunity and Toll-Like receptors, which was a life-changing experience. After that Christoph spent over 10 years in drug development in oncology and infection at Boehringer Ingelheim and Austrianni, before he co-founded his own company, Evobright.